Any reputable backroads adventurer will tell you that the best trips are the ones with no script, no expectations and some wrong turns.
I recently took my parents on a little day trip. While we stuck to the highways and interstate on the way to our destination, we came home via a meandering path filled with wrong turns, some trips around the block and some occasional slamming on the breaks. In other words, they caught a glimpse of what happens when I’m left to my own devices.
We saw some great stuff including some neat old vehicles, gorgeous farms, a covered bridge and got caught by the longest train I’ve seen in ages.
A wrong turn in a Fairborn, Ohio roundabout resulted in seeing this abandoned but still neat old theater.
There was also this beautiful covered bridge between Piqua and Troy. It was restored several years ago so you can drive through now.
None of this stuff was visible from the interstate. In fact, while the interstate is terrifically efficient for getting places, it’s terrible for seeing anything other than fast food, car dealerships and stores. You don’t see or experience the real America from the interstate. You just get the plastic, neon, commercial cookie cutter crap that every town has.
It took longer to come home but that trip is where we found things to talk about and saw things that are truly unique to that region. My memories of this day trip lie in the country roads and side streets of places the rest of the world zooms right by.
One distressing note. The maps app on my phone kept asking to save me five minutes, ten minutes or even just one minute by routing me onto nearby highways. If I didn’t pick up my phone and hit the “No thanks” button, it would automatically reroute me into a more mainstream route. First of all, the fact I have to respond before the woman who lives in my phone makes the decision for me, is both dangerous and frustrating.
Second, it is further proof that the world is conspiring to make us all go faster. Resist, my friends! Resist! Turn up some good tunes and take that slower route!